CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak’s summer economic statement which saw VAT slashed to five per cent for the hospitality and tourism industry has been backed by Evesham MP Nigel Huddleston.
Speaking after Mr Sunak’s statement yesterday, the Mid Worcestershire MP welcomed the plan for Jobs, the proposals to support the tourism and hospitality sector and proposals to boost the housing market with stamp duty axed for any home purchases under £500,000.
The Chancellor also revealed a financial inducement to employers to retain staff who have been on the furlough scheme with a one-off bonus of £1,000 for every employee who returns to work from furlough and who is successfully kept on until January.
Money will also be available under the Kickstart Scheme which will directly pay businesses to create high-quality jobs for any 16-24 year old at risk of long-term unemployment.
For those working in the hospitality and tourism industry, VAT for hospitality, accommodation visitor and attractions will be cut from 20 per cent to five per cent for the next six months.
In the Mid Worcestershire area alone, more than 500 businesses will benefit from the reduction according to Mr Huddleston. To encourage locals to support these businesses, the Chancellor also set out the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, which entitles everyone to a discount of up to 50 per cent on the meal, up to £10 a person on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August.
“As restrictions have been loosened over the last few weeks I am already seeing more people out and about across the constituency spending money, but we need to do even more to help businesses particularly hit hard by Coronavirus and to boost consumer demand further, he said.
“In my capacity as Minister for Tourism, I know that the cuts in VAT will be a huge help to hospitality and tourism businesses across the country. The ‘Eat out to Help Out’ scheme is also an innovative policy which will help local hospitality businesses and help local families become comfortable with going out again in a safe environment.
“As we reopen our economy, it’s so important to support, protect and create jobs and I believe the latest policies set out by the Chancellor will be a lifeline for many people and businesses in Worcestershire.”
Mr Huddleston was one of a number of Tories to praise their Chancellor’s intervention but his abandonment of fiscal prudence in pursuit of supporting the country’s ailing economy was greeted with caution by some including former Chancellor and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid.
“He will be acutely aware interest rates will not stay low for ever, and we will eventually need to bring our national debt back under control in order to sustain recovery, continue to create jobs and keep taxes low,” Mr Javid said.